Long story short: Moon and Back Bridal has always been a part of my larger business working with the independent wedding vendor and bridal fashion business community as a coach and organizer. Both businesses have grown significantly and filled my heart over the last few years. Since my time and focus can’t keep pace with two growing businesses, I’ve made the decision to phase out the store part of the storefront and put all of our efforts as a company into supporting the businesses in the Cleveland wedding community and worldwide.
**All brides with orders will still be able to reach us at the same phone number and emails, will still be welcome any time to grab an appointment and come by and see us, and will still come into the store when their dresses come in to try them on, celebrate a little, and take them home. We’re not going anywhere!**
I can remember the strangest little details about significant decisions and times in my business. I can picture sitting on my in-law’s couch while we visited at Christmas and hitting “Order Now” for my first ever business cards for my bridal design business. I know the book I was reading when I thought of the first Wed Altered event. I remember that the Frozen song played over and over and over as I built racks and fitting rooms, decorated, arranged furniture, and hung up new samples in the month before I opened Moon and Back.
I also know exactly what Saturday I was sitting at my desk at the store when I realized I needed to make a change and stop selling dresses to brides.
I absolutely love what I do. If we never got a chance to chat about it when you came by the store, Moon and Back Bridal came into existence as a physical location for my work running a collective of independent bridal designers. Wed Altered, the collective, is where I get to work with amazing indie bridal designers. I organize events, workshops, resources, and work with designers 1-on-1 to coach them through growing their business and selling to stores. I get to be in NYC for Bridal Week every year and put together trade shows and spaces for designers to exhibit. It’s all awesome.
In February of 2014, I signed the lease to open the Moon and Back Bridal storefront. Many of the designers you’ve seen on the racks are ones I work with in person every year and talk to regularly. I’ve shared hotel rooms with them, gone out to ramen restaurants, and figured out the subway. This store has never just been a job for me and I’m so grateful for that. The appointments with brides and their families, the dresses, the shows, the other talented and passionate vendors, the wedding pictures…I love everything about the community we’ve built here at Moon and Back and I can’t thank you all enough.
But it’s always been a part of the bigger picture, which is to support and bring together small businesses in the wedding industry that were producing inspiring work and were willing to do things a little differently.
I’m a teacher at heart (and by degree – OU, oh yeah!). I know I’m meant to continue to make a difference behind the scenes, helping businesses create amazing weddings for couples, build heart-led livings for themselves, and bring change to their communities. It’s where I can do the most good in the most places and where my “zone of excellence” most definitely sits.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I give my clients is to make sure they don’t spread themselves too thin in too many directions. I need to follow that same advice to make sure we’re doing the high level work I’m committed to producing as a company. That means I had to make a tough choice.
Here are the details: As of this weekend, we will not be taking any more first bridal appointments. All new orders for brides still thinking about their dream dress will need to be finalized by the end of November. Everyone who has a current order will get all the same service they would if we were still open full time and will have everything delivered on time and with a huge smile.
The storefront will be shifted into a space that will serve as an office for Christen Schneider, Wed Altered (for bridal designers), and The Engage Collective (for wedding pros). We’ll have tables and chairs for meetings and workshops, working lounge areas, and everything you could need to help people work on building their dream business.
I’ll be hosting in person events for local wedding business owners. We’ll be bringing in people from around the world for retreats and conferences. And one of the things I’m most excited about is that I’m working on a sponsorship program to help Cleveland area students learn about entrepreneurship by giving them the funds and support they need to actually start and run a business.
This will be a business creation space. It’s not a co-working space, but a business lab. I’m so excited to take this journey farther with a wonderful community of business owners and I hope you’ll join us. If you’re a wedding business owner, please join us!
If you’re a bride who’s been with us over the years or part of my family and friends who have visited and supported me and the store so thoroughly, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Please, stay around and see where this all keeps growing. I know there will be big things coming for our group and the Cleveland wedding industry.
All the best and much more,
(If you ever have any questions about this process, reach out to me at any time – firstname.lastname@example.org)
PS – If you are looking for a part time job, we’re hiring!
PPS – If you’re a group or business that needs a beautiful, inspiring, private location for meetings or events of 10-40 people, we’ll be renting it out. We’ll also have some time and space for photographers to host shoots and mini sessions.